Formalizing the Role of Private Food Safety Certification Schemes in Canadian Food Safety Control Systems
2017 Mather Award Winner Paper
Canadian food manufacturers are often certified against a private certification scheme (PCS) to enable the company to manage its resources according to the level of risk presented. Although the Canadian government recognizes the role that PCSs play in helping the food industry comply with food safety regulatory requirements, it falls short in formally integrating them into Canadian food safety control systems. This reluctance is most likely due to the challenges presented in a public-private partnership that can impact the integrity and reputation of both parties. However, streamlining the management of food safety activities by distributing responsibilities between the government and PCSs might eliminate many current redundancies and allow for the allocation of resources to high risk areas where they are needed most. A thorough review and analysis of the food safety system utilized by a global food manufacturer revealed that the benefits would far outweigh the potential issues of such a partnership. It is true that the formal integration of PCSs into Canadian food safety control systems may not be achievable in the near future, but conversations among various stakeholders, including government, academia, food industry and PCS organizations must continue to happen to fully leverage the food safety expertise that reside in these various fields a ion and improvement of food safety management practices.